Inflation in Argentina kept climbing in February, reaching 102.5 percent, its first time in triple digits since 1991, the country’s National Institute of Statistics and Census reported.
During February alone, consumer prices grew by 6.6 percent, with food costs jumping 9.8 percent as dairy, meat, and vegetable prices all shot higher.
At the same time, an ongoing drought has slashed crop yields in the country’s fertile Pampas prairies to their lowest in more than 20 years.
World food markets rely on Argentina as a key exporter of soy as well as corn, wheat, and other grains. This year, those exports will be reduced to a fraction of their customary size, agricultural analysts have predicted.
The drought, which has remained in place since May 2022, has been linked to global climate disruption.
South America’s second-largest economy has seen waves of instability, with a 1980s debt crisis sparking runaway inflation through the decade, with prices rising at an annual rate of 3,000 percent for one brief period.
In 2018, the country wangled a $57-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the largest bailout in the agency’s history to that time.
That loan was renegotiated in 2022 and replaced by a $44-billion line of credit.
On 13 March, the IMF and Argentina announced they had reached a preliminary agreement on yet another loan, this time to cope with the fallout from the drought crisis.
“There’s just nothing left,” one elderly woman told Reuters. “There’s no money.” She recently found she was unable to afford to buy tomatoes.
“I’m tired of the politicians who fight while people die of hunger,” another shopper said. “This can’t go on any more.”
Argentina will hold a general election in October.
TREND FORECAST: South Americans have a long history of taking to the streets to protest worthless currencies, shortages of staples such as water and food, and corrupt and incompetent government officials.
Here again, our Top Trend 2020 of New World Disorder is being confirmed.
Argentina’s past and current crises, minus unpredictable wild cards of nature which affect the growing season, were created, as with other nations, by those in power.
Beyond the certainty of continuing economic, political, and social turmoil, the deeper their economy sinks and the higher inflation rises… the higher the socioeconomic tension will rise.